|Here are excerpts from some writing with links to the full stories. I have looked at Appalachia and the South with byways into segregation, snake handling and folklore. I obsess about the politics of published photographs, women’s bylines (not enough of them), my hometown Chicago, and life in New York where I like to eat and engage in the dangerous sport of bicycle commuting.|
“Biking around New York is my most reckless activity. People think I’m nuts to do it. I think I’m nuts to do it. As a grownup of the gray-haired persuasion, if I get in a minor accident, I’m going to limp for months. . .”
“If you happen to fall in to the New York Harbor, the Hudson, the East River, or Jamaica Bay, you need not fear bacterial infections or diseases from industrial pollution, according to a report from the city's Department of Environmental Protection. Unless you fall in after a storm. . .”
|“During the civil rights movement of the 1960s Dave Kotelchuck said, ‘I felt like I was leading two lives.’ As a physicist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, he studied sigma particles in the quiet of his lab. Then during his evenings and weekends as a political activist, he recalled, “all hell broke loose.’...”
from a profile, “Dave Kotelchuck Applies Science,” in Clarion, the publicationof the Professional Staff Congress, City University of New York. Click here to read the story in a pdf.
First Award for a Profile, 2010, Local Unions, from ILCA, the International Labor Communications Association.
“In a week in June when 15 GIs were killed in Iraq, the war pictures in The New York Times featured dazed Iraqis after a suicide bombing, a Marine patrolling, the twisted remains of a vehicle, wounded children, a civilian casualty in a morgue. No photographs featured American casualties--a typical absence in U.S. coverage of the war....
“The images of war that appear today offer a marked contrast to the pictures of the dead and wounded from the Vietnam War, whose media coverage is credited with spurring protests through graphic images. ...”
“A letter in February to The New York Times (2/3/07) from the commander of the Multinational Corps in Iraq revealed new censorship regulations prohibiting portrayals of U.S. casualties in the media. The tightened rules have been in effect since May 2006, but no media outlet with embedded photographers reported on or objected to the censorship of images. . .”
“Women made up nearly 40 percent of all daily reporters in 2003 . . . But just 32 percent of the New York Times' reporters are women. And few of those women get prominent positions for their stories. . .”
|In a box of old negatives, I unearthed pictures I took in 1971 of the Chicago Board of Trade's busy commodities market. Here are the photos and a short essay in Gaper's Block, the wonderfully named Chicago webzine.|
“I was through with film five years before film was through. Now I love digital, and digital loves me back. It changed my life, or at least my profession. . .”
“When my husband, who works in a nursing home, told a patient that we were about to visit Nuremberg, the old man said, ‘Yeah? Piss on Germany for me.’ He has reason to be sore, having lost much of his family in the Holocaust. . .”
Appalachia and The South
“When Doug Tyson rang the doorbell of American Legion Post 7 in Durham, N.C., last May, he was surprised that he didn't get past the foyer. A disabled Vietnam veteran, he didn't realize that this veterans' service club was segregated. . . .”
“. . A retired truck driver, Carl Porter became inspired to handle snakes after he saw the practice at a church service. 'I seen the Lord move on them. I wanted the Lord to move on me, and He did--told me to handle the serpent.' . . .”
“The problem wasn't that performer Ed Haggard took off his clothes during his one-person show, a section he called 'I'm too white,' and smeared his body with blue paint. It was what he said while he was doing it. He said that if he had more color, he might have a sense of rhythm, a love of nature. He painted his genitals and said if he had more color he might be more virile. . . .”
“Morgan’s vision of Appalachian people is a romantic one, the flip side of familiar imaginings of the violence and evil, moonshine and madness in the mountains. . . .”
“In your books, you use a lot of folklore. For instance, one of your characters puts an axe under the bed to cut the pain of childbirth. I was wondering where you got this kind of thing.”
“‘Well, I grew up in Grundy, Va., which is in Buchanan County in Southwest Virginia, and I was an only child, which means that I spent less time with other children and more time listening to old people. Although I was an only child, I had a real big family there. They were all real talkers.’ . . .”
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